Louisville Workers Compensation Lawyer

To a person not familiar with the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation system, it can seem like a confusing maze of insurance rules and regulations. Part of the reason for this is that it’s in your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier’s best interest to reduce the amount of money spent on a claim. If you choose to face the system alone, you may not get the full amount of benefits you deserve.

What Sets Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers Apart in Louisville Workers Compensation Claims

At Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers, we distinguish ourselves from other firms in handling Louisville workers’ compensation claims through the personalized attention, comprehensive legal experience, and aggressive advocacy we provide each client.

Our team is dedicated to catering to each client’s specific needs. We will do all we can using our understanding of Kentucky’s workers’ compensation laws to reap the benefits of injured workers. We operate on a contingent fee basis, meaning we ensure our clients are not saddled down by the burden of upfront legal fees unless we win.

Our personal injury lawyers in Louisville takes ownership in ensuring our clients are empowered with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about their cases. Our proven track record of securing favorable outcomes, combined with our strong reputation in the Louisville community, makes us a trusted and respected choice for workers seeking justice and fair compensation after workplace injuries.

How a Louisville Lawyer Assists in a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Louisville workers compensation lawyer

Our team of lawyers can play a diverse role in assisting you in your Louisville workers’ compensation claim, including:

  • Navigating the Claims Process: Workers’ compensation systems can be complex and confusing. Our lawyers help our clients understand the process, timelines, and requirements, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken and forms are correctly filled out and submitted on time.
  • Gathering and Presenting Evidence: A successful claim often depends on the quality and comprehensiveness of the evidence presented. We will take the lead in gathering medical records, expert testimony, and evidence of the workplace conditions that led to the injury, as well as documenting the impact of the injury on the client’s ability to work.
  • Representing in Disputes: If a claim is denied or disputed by your employer or their insurance company, we will represent you in hearings or appeals, advocating on their behalf. We can prepare and present arguments, cross-examine witnesses and work to overturn unjust decisions.
  • Maximizing Benefits: Our lawyers have significant experience evaluating the full extent of our client’s entitlements, including medical treatment, temporary or permanent disability benefits, and rehabilitation support. We will work to ensure you receive the maximum benefits allowable under the law.
  • Preventing Retaliation: In some cases, employees may fear or face retaliation from employers for filing a claim. We are ready to protect against such actions.

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of having a lawyer is the peace of mind it brings. Trust our experienced Louisville workers’ compensation lawyers to handle your claim so you can focus on recovery and sleep well knowing that your case is in good hands.

Common Causes Of Injuries At Work 

Work-related injuries can arise from a variety of sources, each requiring a thorough understanding and navigation of worker’s compensation laws to ensure the affected parties receive the support and compensation they deserve. Some of the most common causes include:

Slip, Trip, and Fall Injuries

Slip, trip, and fall injuries are among the most common workplace accidents, often resulting from wet floors, uneven surfaces, cluttered walkways, or inadequate lighting. Ask one of our slip and fall injury lawyers in Louisville for more information. 

For example, an employee might slip on a freshly mopped floor without proper signage or trip over an obstacle that’s not immediately visible. These incidents can lead to a range of injuries from minor bruises to serious fractures or even traumatic brain injuries.

Overexertion and Repetitive Stress Injuries

These injuries are caused by actions such as lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing. Repetitive stress injuries result from overuse of a particular part of the body, often due to repetitive motion tasks. 

Overexertion injuries can occur in any job requiring physical labor, leading to muscle strains, back injuries, and hernias. Repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, develop over time and are common in office environments where workers perform repetitive tasks.

Machinery and Equipment Accidents

Working with heavy machinery and equipment without proper training or safeguards can lead to severe accidents. Lack of maintenance and failure to use protective guards are significant causes. Employees can suffer from cuts, lacerations, amputations, or crush injuries if they’re caught in or struck by moving parts of machinery. Equipment rolling over or malfunctioning can also cause catastrophic incidents.

Falls from Height

Falls from height occur in work environments where employees are required to work from ladders, scaffolding, roofs, or any elevated workspace without adequate fall protection.

Without proper safety measures, workers can lose their balance and fall, leading to serious injuries or fatalities. Factors contributing to these accidents include unstable working surfaces, lack of or failure to use safety equipment, and human error.

Vehicle-Related Incidents

Vehicle-related incidents can happen both inside and outside the physical workplace. They include accidents involving company vehicles, forklifts, or employees being struck by moving vehicles.

These incidents often occur due to poor driving practices, lack of training, and failure to observe safety regulations. They can result in a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to fatalities. Speak to a Louisville car accident attorney to learn more. 

Understanding these common causes of work-related injuries emphasizes the importance of workplace safety measures and the need for comprehensive training and adherence to safety protocols.

Coverage and Eligibility Under Louisville Workers Compensation Laws

workers compensation lawyers in Louisville

Governed under Kentucky workers’ compensation laws, Louisville employees are entitled to guaranteed coverage of medical benefits and compensation for lost wages for those who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their work.

The requirements for employers include:

  • All Employers Requirement: According to KRS 342.340, all employers operating in Kentucky with one or more employees are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. This mandate encompasses a broad spectrum of employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers.
  • Immediate Coverage Provision: KRS 342.630 provides that employees are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage from their very first day of employment. This immediate coverage is crucial for protecting workers from the outset of their employment, offering prompt support in the event of a work-related injury or illness.
  • Occupational Diseases Coverage: The coverage of occupational diseases is specifically addressed in KRS 342.0011, 342.800, 342.835, where the law extends workers’ compensation benefits to include illnesses and diseases that arise directly from the employment environment or job duties. This includes conditions developed over time due to workplace exposure to hazardous substances or stressful physical activities.

What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Am I Entitled to After an Injury at Work?

There are three types of benefits in a workers’ compensation claim – income, medical, and vocational rehabilitation. Most injured workers who qualify for workers’ compensation coverage use income and medical benefits.

  • Income Benefits There are two types of income benefits, TTD (temporary total disability)and PPD (permanent partial disability). Both benefits are based on 2/3 of your gross average weekly wage for the year prior to the accident.
  • TTD is paid if you are taken off of all work by the doctor to recover from any injuries sustained as a result of the accident.
  • PPD and PTD (permanent total disability) are paid when a person sustains any permanent partial or permanent total disability. Permanent partial disability can occur when a person’s injuries are assigned an impairment rating by a physician. In the case of permanent total disability, an impairment rating and restrictions are imposed, which prevent someone from returning to all work activities.
  • Medical Benefits The workers’ compensation insurance company is responsible for the lifetime payment of all reasonable and necessary medical treatment for recovery from the work injuries.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits If your injuries prevent you from returning to your usual occupation for which you have training and experience, you may be awarded retraining for work you’re able to perform.

Who Can Be Held Liable For Your Work-related Injury 

Determining liability in work-related injuries is complex, as multiple parties could be responsible depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. Some of the most common liable parties include one or more of the following: 

  • Employers: Employers are primarily responsible for ensuring workplace safety, providing proper equipment, and adhering to health and safety protocols. If they neglect these duties, they can be held liable for any resulting injuries or accidents.  
  • Equipment Manufacturers: Manufacturers of workplace machinery and equipment must ensure their products are safe for use. If an injury occurs due to defective or unsafe equipment, the manufacturer could be held accountable.
  • Coworkers: Coworkers who engage in unsafe practices or fail to follow safety guidelines contribute to a hazardous work environment. Their actions can lead to accidents, making them liable in certain circumstances.
  • Maintenance Staff: The upkeep and maintenance of equipment and workspaces are crucial in preventing work-related injuries. If poor maintenance is the cause of an injury, the individuals or entities responsible for that maintenance may be liable.
  • Third-Party Contractors: Third-party contractors who are negligent in their duties, leading to an unsafe environment or direct injuries, can also be held liable. 

While workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that provides benefits regardless of who is at fault for a work-related injury, there are circumstances where you may be eligible to file a lawsuit for additional compensation. Therefore, understanding who can be held liable is pivotal in protecting your rights and securing the proper support and compensation for your injuries.

What to Consider Before Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Louisville workers' compensation attorney

There are many factors to consider when determining if you have a claim.

Where Did Your Accident Happen?

Most accidents and injuries occur on the employer’s premises, but a valid accident can also occur off of the premises. For example, a work-related vehicle accident may qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits.

What Type of Injury Did You Sustain?

A work injury can be more than just a broken bone, torn ligament, sprain, back pain, or neck pain. Other injuries that may qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits include:

  • Trauma caused by daily use of vibrating tools on an assembly line
  • Repetitive motion throughout the course of work shifts
  • Aggravation of arthritis pain
  • Illness or injury caused by exposure to hazardous work environments

How did your accident occur? Work accidents can sometimes be caused by the negligence of a third party, such as an employee of another company or manufacturer of defective equipment. A separate lawsuit can be filed against the negligent party (but not co-workers) to obtain damages in addition to workers’ compensation benefits.

How Long Do You Have To File A Workers’ Compensation Claim? 

Timing is crucial when it comes to filing a worker’s compensation claim in Kentucky. For most work injuries, you generally have either:

  • Two years from the date of injury, or
  • Two years from the date of your last temporary total disability (TTD) payment.

It’s important to note that while the claim needs to be filed within this period, it doesn’t necessarily have to be settled. Missing this deadline can result in losing your right to claim benefits, making it essential to act promptly if you’re injured at work.

What Is Retaliatory Discharge?

Retaliatory discharge means an employer cannot fire, harass, coerce or discriminate against an employee for filing a claim. This statute is designed to protect an injured worker’s job from the time of the accident through the time they are recovered from their injuries and return to work.

Normally, an employer can discharge an at-will employee, or an employee not working under a contract, for good cause, for no cause at all, or for a cause that is “morally indefensible.” It would seem as though an at-will employee can be fired at any time for any reason. However, there are certain restrictions on what is called the “at-will doctrine” to provide workers some protection from potential employer abuses. To prove that retaliatory discharge has occurred in a workers’ compensation claim there are four criteria which must be met.

  • The worker must show they were pursuing a workers’ compensation claim
  • Proof the employer knew the injured worker was pursuing a workers’ compensation claim
  • The injured worker has to show that the employer either fired, harassed, coerced, or discriminated against them in their employment
  • A causal connection between pursuing the workers’ compensation claim and the adverse employment action must be proved. Thus, a person cannot allege retaliatory discharge just because they have been fired

It should be noted too that even though a person may be injured on the job and is protected from retaliatory discharge, they must still abide by the employer’s rules and regulations governing employment with the company. There are a number of considerations to be undertaken after being injured on the job.

What If There Is A Death On the Job?

In cases where a death occurs on the job, it is crucial for families and dependents to understand their rights and the steps involved in seeking compensation and benefits. Here’s what you need to know:

Notification and Investigation: Immediate notification to the employer is crucial, followed by a detailed investigation of the incident by the appropriate safety and workers’ compensation boards. This investigation helps determine the cause and whether the death was work-related.

Death Benefits Claim: Dependents or the estate of the deceased can file for death benefits through workers’ compensation. These benefits are designed to cover funeral expenses and provide financial support to the dependents.

  • Funeral and Burial Expenses: Workers’ compensation typically covers reasonable funeral and burial costs up to a certain limit.    
  • Dependency Benefits: Spouses, children, and sometimes other dependents may receive a portion of the deceased worker’s wages for a period of time. 
  • Future and Ongoing Support: In addition to immediate financial assistance, some dependents might be eligible for longer-term support services, including counseling and educational assistance.

Seek Legal Representation: Seeking guidance from a lawyer experienced in workers’ compensation and wrongful death cases can provide crucial support and clarification during these complex processes.

Explore Third-Party Claims: If the death resulted from the negligence of a party other than the employer, such as a faulty equipment manufacturer or a negligent third party on the job site, it might be possible to file a separate lawsuit against those entities for additional compensation.

Understanding these steps and legal rights is essential for families to navigate the aftermath of a tragic workplace incident effectively. It ensures the deceased’s dependents are compensated and supported during their time of loss. Our wrongful death lawyers in Louisville are here for you in your time of need. 

Contact Our Louisville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

If you need help with your worker’s compensation case in Kentucky, or you have questions about your benefits call our team today. At Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers, our Louisville workers’ compensation lawyers know the law, and we’re here to assist you through every step of the claims process in Kentucky.

With our No Fee Guarantee®, you won’t pay us anything unless you get money for your claim.* Contact or call us today at (502) 888-8888.